Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:34-36 (NLT)
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1 (MSG)
So stand strong for our freedom! The Anointed One freed us so we wouldn’t spend one more day under the yoke of slavery, trapped under the law... Brothers and sisters, God has called you to freedom! Hear the call, and do not spoil this gift by using your liberty to engage in what your flesh desires; instead, use it to serve each other as Jesus taught through love. For the whole law comes down to this one instruction: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” so why all this vicious gnawing on each other? If you are not careful, you will find you’ve eaten each other alive. Galatians 5:1, 13-15 (Voice)
The founding fathers of the United States wrote that every person has the absolute right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yesterday, in the US, we celebrated Independence Day, the day we commemorate our freedom from the English Monarchy. It seems like that notion has morphed into the idea, I can do whatever I want.
Jesus has a different take on freedom.
Christ said He came to bring Good News to the poor, release those in captivity, give sight to the blind and set the oppressed free, when, in the temple, He read from Isaiah 61. Jesus also said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free!” in John 8:32.
Both times those hearing Jesus were put off my His comments. In John, the response was, we have never been slaves to anyone! That was a telling statement. That feeling may be the one welling up in your heart right now, since we like to think of ourselves and self-directed, as free. After all, if you’re a Christian, didn’t you make that decision of your own free will?
The message of Jesus is; apart From Him, there is no true freedom.
Jesus explained it in terms the crowd listening to Him could understand. A slave is not a family member. A slave has no civil rights, no rights to the inheritance, no ownership. Everything a slave receives comes from and belongs to his or her master. Jesus was saying sin is not a very good master. With sin as your master, in the end, you are penniless, unrepresented and hopelessly lost. Try as you will to be free on your own and you will need to return to this master, who is not interested in your well-being, simply because you have no recourses of your own.
A son, on the other hand, is protected, gains his father’s land, wealth, and is part of a family unit. A son or daughter has an identity because of his or her father. With a Father and a family, there are resources, there is distinctiveness, and there are people on whom you can depend.
That is the message of Jesus’ freedom. It’s freedom from the selfish task-master of sin. It’s the freedom to be a child who is cared for by a loving heavenly Father who has infinite resources and infinite love for His children.
That family tie does carry responsibility. Paul goes on in Galatians Chapter 5 to say that freedom from sin should cause us to serve each other in love. True freedom is not simply doing what makes you happy and in meeting your own needs, but in serving others in love.
Christ calls every one to be free in His forgiveness. Accepting the gift of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross makes it possible for you to stop being a slave to sin and become a child of God.
Be free in Christ today!
Father, thank You for true freedom. Freedom that allows me to live the life of love and service that You intended. Help me to think of others. Teach me that true freedom comes from knowing You. Teach me to say “no” to myself and “yes” to the freedom of Your plan for me.
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